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Christopher Columbus made an Important Connection in Santa Fe

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Christopher Columbus with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel in 1491 at Santa Fe de la Vega.

Today, the nation celebrates Indigenous People’s Day. But there’s no way of escaping the legacy of Christopher Columbus, even here in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe de la Vega

The Moors and Spain fought the longest war in recorded history. For over eight hundred years they battled over land and religion. In 1491 the war came to an end. The historic peace treaty took place in an area twelve kilometers south of Granada. Christopher Columbus signed the contract to explore new found land with the Spanish Crown in the town christened Santa de la Vega. Following that event Santa Fe became the name of two more cities in Spain. In Barcelona there’s a region called Santa Fe del Penedes. The province of Almeria in southern Spain has a town called Santa Fe de Mondujar. 

La Villa Real de la Santa Fe

The official name of New Mexico’s capital city is La Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis. Which, in English translates to the Royal City of Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi. Santa Fe, New Mexico is the fourth of 13 official cities around the world named Santa Fe. With it’s founding in 1610 it became the first city outside of Spain to bear that name.

Fulfilling a Legacy

Queen Isabel began the largest evangelization of Christianity with the 1492 expedition to America. The queen was determined to promote Christianity throughout the New World.Santiago de Compostela is Spain’s patron saint. St. James was one of the apostles martyred for spreading Christianity. The legacy of St. James was the underlying motivation for Queen Isabel in converting the Native Americans to Christianity. In retrospect, the forced conversion of the Indians is all the more reason to call today’s holiday Indigenous People’s Day.